[Grammar] Is vs Are

Status
Not open for further replies.

PureEvil

Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2015
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Russian
Home Country
United Arab Emirates
Current Location
Poland
In John Lennon's song "Imagine" is a sentence - "Imagine there's no countries".

And I'm curios is this sentence grammatically correct? Why he used "is" instead of "are", countries - is word in plural form, isn't it?

And how will be grammatically right?

1) There is no countries - correct?
2) There are no countries - correct?
3) There aren't countries - correct?
4) There isn't countries - correct?

Thanks.
 

emsr2d2

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 28, 2009
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
British English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
UK
In John Lennon's song "Imagine", is [STRIKE]a[/STRIKE] the sentence "Imagine there's no countries".

[STRIKE]And[/STRIKE] I'm curious to know if [STRIKE]is[/STRIKE] this sentence is grammatically correct. Why did he [STRIKE]used[/STRIKE] use"is" instead of "are"? "Countries" is a word in the plural form, isn't it?

[STRIKE]And[/STRIKE] [STRIKE]how[/STRIKE] [STRIKE]will[/STRIKE] What would be a/the grammatically [STRIKE]right[/STRIKE] correct version?

1) There is no countries - correct? :cross:
2) There are no countries - correct? :tick:
3) There aren't countries - correct? :cross: ("There aren't any countries" is grammatical.)
4) There isn't countries - correct? :cross:

Thanks.

Song lyrics are frequently ungrammatical. The words are written to fit the rhythm, metre and rhyme of the song, with scant regard for grammatical rules. The grammatically correct "Imagine there are no countries" would not have fitted the rhythm - it has too many syllables.
 

PureEvil

Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2015
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Russian
Home Country
United Arab Emirates
Current Location
Poland
I've found this sentence in one British article -That does not mean to say that there are not countries receiving food aid which might well adopt policies which would increase their own...So, it's correct?
 

TheParser

VIP Member
Joined
Dec 8, 2009
Member Type
Other
Native Language
English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
NOT A TEACHER


Mona: How many books are there?

Paul: There are three books.

Mona: What did you say? That airplane overhead was very noisy.

Ruth: He said that there's three books.

Mona: Oh, thanks a lot.

*****

NOTES:

1. Paul's answer is the correct one. You may want to always use it in writing.

2. In the United States, Ruth's answer is very common in conversation. Saying "there's" saves more time than saying "there are."

3. Of course, "There is three books" is NEVER acceptable, even in conversation.
 

Rover_KE

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jun 20, 2010
Member Type
Retired English Teacher
Native Language
British English
Home Country
England
Current Location
England
I've found this sentence in one British article -That does not mean to say that there are not countries receiving food aid which might well adopt policies which would increase their own...So, it's correct?
Yes, it is, though the double negative obfuscates the meaning.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top